The Clean Heart Principle
What is a Clean Heart Anyway?
Just what is a clean heart? Is it a heart one that never makes a mistake? Is it a heart one that never disobeys? Is a clean heart one that doesn't compromise? Or is it one that makes everyone happy?
A clean heart can't be one that never makes a mistake because all humans make mistakes. A clean heart can't be one that never disobeys because all humans will disobey. A clean heart may have something to do with not compromising, but everyone yields to the temptation to be lax in an area or two. [Are you always doing the right thing?) And, a clean heart certainly cannot be one that seeks to make everyone happy.
So, just what is a clean heart?
A clean heart is a heart that is pliable in the hands of God. A clean heart is one that is honest about itself. A clean heart is a heart that knows what is right and works to do what is right at every opportunity. A clean heart knows that it doesn't take much for it to get dirty. A clean heart knows that it needs help because it is subject to think evil, plan evil and ultimately do evil.
A clean heart is a heart that desires to yield to the ways of God.
Clean Heart Principle #1
The Content of Your Heart Guides Your Life
Proverbs 4:23 in the King James version of the Bible says that we are to,
"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life".
The New King James version says it like this,
"Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
And, to make it even simpler, the New Living Translation says it like this,
"Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
From this Bible verse we can see that our current emotional condition, our current state of mind and our current financial condition is a direct result of what is living within our hearts. Ouch! That stings, but, according to the Word of God, it is the truth.
Just pause and think about that for a minute.....Everything you have been complaining about, every mental and emotional condition of your life, is a result of both the exposed and hidden things that are in your heart.
What about what THEY did to me?
What do we do when others inflict wounds upon you? What do you do with events that you simply cannot control? There is no way you aren't going to feel it if someone hits you in the head with a hammer. You will feel it and scream if it doesn't knock you out first.
But, what will you do after you recover? What will you do to the person who hit you? You are going to be hurt when you have been hurt, you are going to want to retaliate in kind to whatever affliction or attack has touched you. This is normal, natural, human, and a mud bath for your heart.
Our responses to suffered wrongs reflect what is in our heart. And, is the key to our freedom or bondage. This is where the clean heart principle comes into play
It is not external circumstances that determine your condition, it is your response to those circumstances that create the world you live in. (We could all do with a little bleach in our heart bath water).
Clean Heart Principle #2
Your Words Reveal What is in Your Heart
Jesus said it like this,
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man. Matt 15:17-20
If you notice, the first thing Jesus mentioned is, "evil thoughts". I am glad Jesus said this first because it includes every person. Had He not mentioned "evil thoughts" many people would have felt exempt from this verse. But absolutely everyone has "evil thoughts".
Evil thoughts are thoughts of vengeance, anger, jealousy, envy as well as thoughts of retaliation. Evil thoughts are the root of every type of defilement. Every action is the result of some thought... even the ones you say "you never thought about performing).
The bible says that the heart is deceitful above all things and that it is desperately wicked, that no man can know it..... Jeremiah 17:9 So, that means that we have to be open and honest with ourselves about ourselves..... about everything!
The Clean Heart Principle #3
Pride is LIke Mud to The Heart
A few success here and there can really go to a persons head. They can make you feel more important than you actually are and cause you to lose your perspective. Pride easy to fall in to and difficult to get rid of.
The reason it is hard to get rid of is because it deceives. Pride convinces you that you are right in your actions and in your thoughts. Pride keeps you from seeing clearly and acting correctly. Pride is detrimental to the cleanliness of your heart.
Damaging and dangerous, pride must be stopped at the first sign of its presence, and, we should daily ask the Lord as David did,
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting: Psalms 139:23-24.
The Clean-Up Is Up to Us!
Remember when you were little... you never wanted to take a bath just to take a bath. You wanted to get in that water and play, not bathe. Well, for some of us, we just want to play. We want a clean heart when it is convenient for us and when we think we can get something from God. But, be not deceived, God is not mocked!!!
He looks behind our ears and sees the dirt accumulated from the things that we hear. He checks our fingernails for the crude collected from the things we have put our hands to. He smells our breath searching for the rancor left behind from the things that we have said... All of these things leave track and skid marks on our heart, hindering us from walking in this life as we should. .
But, God is good and He is an ever present help in the time of need. He doesn't just leave us dirty, He graciously tells us what He has found and gives the tools and the opportunity to clean it up.
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